Cali Hip Hop’s female heavyweights,
Conscious Daughters, weigh in with their opinions

by JR of the SF Bayview

Conscious Daughters, made up of Special -1 and CMG, was the first female Bay Area rap group from the streets that blew up that I knew of. They kind of played the role on the regional scene that Salt-n-Pepa played on the national scene, as far as showing the world that females can get busy just like their male counterparts.

Funky Expedition” and “Gamers” were two colossal hits that they had, but then they fell off the scene for about four years. As I was chilling at the Big Daddy Kane concert this past weekend, I saw Special - 1 in the crowd feelin’ it, and after Kane left the stage she grabbed CMG to do our interview.

Outside of the building on the streets of San Francisco at this time, thousands of people are rebelling against the war on us here in Amerikkka’s innercities all over the nation - in Oakland, in Hunters Point, Chicago, Miami and Brooklyn - and the war abroad in Iraq, Palestine, Haiti, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Colombia, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and a gang of other places. So we wanted to hook up with this legendary local-based rhyme duo to see what was going through their heads in these times of police terrorism and international war crimes. Ya’ll check ‘em out …

JR: What’s up with ya’ll? We ain’t heard from ya’ll in a minute. What have ya’ll been up to?

Special-1 We just been handlin’ our bidness, you know what I’m saying, raising a family. We been in the lab getting ready for the next project, and that’s basically what we have been working on for the last four years.

CMG: We wanted to just regroup and start producing and doing everything, so we went to school basically, so you know we got some new shit cooked up.

JR: What’s the newest thing coming out and when is it dropping?

Special-1 I don’t know ... it’s coming…all soon man. We just busy. We are doing shows, local shows here (in Frisco) at the Transmission Theater with MC Lyte, and we performed at Slims. We have been doing a lot of performances in the Bay Area. We just getting ourselves tuned up and ready to go back on the road when we do drop.

JR: What do ya’ll think about this independent music scene locally right now?

CMG: It’s a hard game. You got to really hustle and you got to be down for your product and you got to get out there and push it. And that’s a hard thing to do, you know what I’m saying. We want to take time and make the right kind of album so that we can promote it right and get out there and push it.

JR: What do ya’ll think about the times and what’s going on? It’s rallies and rebellions going on all around the country and world …

Special-1 I’m just like this: it’s a shame. I never thought that I was going to live to see another country get bombed like ‘91. I thought that it never was going to happen, but I understand how Bush works, and I understand, you know, it’s just unfortunate. What can I do? I gotta just enlighten everybody with spirits, but my spirits are low. We need help in our community, you know what I mean, but I am caring for innocent people with the war and stuff. We just gotta overcome what’s happening and try to live a better life. It’s going to take a toll on our kids and on our society. I have to pray, but I just got to roll with the times and be lucky and be glad that I wake up in the morning and have another breath.

JR: What do you think about independent radio vs. corporate radio? Has corporate radio been an issue for ya’ll?

Special-1 Oh, you mean did we have to pay for them to play our songs?

JR: Right

CMG: Yes

Special-1 I mean we were lucky enough to have a hit, and then they are going to get on you for that. And if you have a label, you got another artist that’s going to come out on the label, so they’re going to play that song afterwards, you know what I mean …

CMG: Make a deal …

Special-1 Make a deal. “I got a million for the next three years.” I mean, independent radio and college radio is what it’s about.

CMG: You just get the most raw and uncut from independent radio. Commercial radio has money, and college radio and independent radio doesn’t have money. The money isn’t being filtered there, but this is where all the talent is at. So really you get this commercial music, but you have a lot of underground talent that never really gets exposed. So that’s where the conflict comes in, but you know, you gotta do what you gotta do. If you gonna do it, and you trying to get paid, you got to jump on one side of the fence to get the money, but your heart is into the art. It’s a tuff game. We trying to get paid, but we love what we do.

Special-1 Independent radio lives, cause we can say the real and we not going to get filtered or censored.

JR: Any concluding thoughts?

Special-1 Peace.

CMG: Peace to everybody. Look out for our shit.

Special-1 That new “Bumpy Strip” (Funky Expedition part 2).

Email JR at

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